Johnny Cantor: Don’t forget those behind the scenes

Uwe Hunemeier. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
Uwe Hunemeier. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
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Among the continuous flow of games and press conferences in the early part of the season, it’s nice to take time out on occasion to speak to various people in more depth.

Last week I sat down with Albion goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts.

Among the talk of his one-year anniversary moving to Sussex and his time in Rio after his playing career ended, he also gave us a reminder of the work that’s done behind the scenes.

He was referring to the role of Casper Ankergren, a seasoned experienced keeper who no longer features in the team but has an important job of helping the outfield players hone their skills in front of goal. Of course, he has an impact in the changing room and is also looking to prepare himself for his own coaching career.

This week we also saw the return of German centre-back Uwe Hunemeier after eight months out of action with a groin injury. What seemed initially a relatively-minor problem kept the defender on the sidelines from December 19, 2015, to August 23, 2016.

The hours of rehab and training after surgery must have taken their toll but credit goes to the player and medical staff. Many of the backroom team don’t sing their own praises or avoid the spotlight but they play a huge role themselves.

It often seems like an army of foot soldiers are on hand to help at the training ground or matchdays and it seems reasonable to ask the question – what do they all do? Well, to be honest, I don’t know but it’s nice to find out more. What I do know is that they wouldn’t be employed unless they did a valuable job that can improve the ultimate performance of players and the team.

After the Olympic Games came to a close we had another reminder of how an improvement in many different areas by small margins can amount to big rewards.

Cyclist Mark Cavendish was asked why Team GB had excelled once again in Rio. He reiterated the role of designers, technicians, physios and psychologists who all add to the overall performance.

We may all know it but we don’t always see it and every so often it is good just to tip our hat to those in the dark corners who go about their business as the pursuit of glory continues in the full face of the media and fans.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger

To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com

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